Giants Mock Draft 2018: Projecting Every Pick for Full 7 Rounds

Patricia Traina@Patricia_TrainaFeatured Columnist IVApril 25, 2018

Giants Mock Draft 2018: Projecting Every Pick for Full 7 Rounds

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    If you're an NFL fan, welcome to the most wonderful time of the year, the time when after months of study and speculation, we see what new, fresh and exciting talent your team plans to deliver following a three-day draft.

    The New York Giants, who hold the No. 2 overall pick in the draft for the first time since 1981 (the year they selected some dude by the name of Lawrence Taylor), have six picks in the 2018 draft, including four in the top 100. It's the first time they've had that many picks since 2009, when they had the 29th, 45th, 60th, 85th and 100th overall picks.

    That year, the Giants turned their first five picks into receiver Hakeem Nicks, defensive end/outside linebacker Clint Sintim, left tackle Will Beatty, receiver Ramses Barden and tight end Travis Beckum.

    While Nicks and Beatty turned out to be solid contributors to the team, the pressure is on general manager Dave Gettleman to get more hits than misses with his first class as the Giants general manager as he attempts to get a team that went 3-13 last year back on track.

    If experience has taught us anything, it's to expect the unexpected come draft weekend. However, until we get concrete answers, the speculation will continue to run wild.  

    Speaking of which, add my mock draft to the numerous ones that have already hit the internet. For my mock draft, I ran at least six different simulations using FanSpeak's NFL Mock Draft simulator; my criteria included a composite of all the draft boards and, for the team needs, I chose NFL.com's breakdown, which aligns with my analysis of their needs. 

    I mostly stuck to the best player available (BPA) methodology, though I tried to marry a need with a BPA while also trying to make sure the value and fit were there.

Round 1 (No. 2 Overall): RB Saquon Barkley, 6'0", 233 Pounds, Penn State

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    When it comes to potential first-round prospects, Saquon Barkley appears to be about as close to perfect as there is.

    He's also rather advanced for a college running back in that Barkley can do all the things that an NFL running back has to do—run, catch and pass block—which means that whoever drafts him is likely getting themselves a Day 1 starter.

    Barkley's unusual skill set hasn't gone unnoticed by Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, who couldn't help but gush enthusiastically about the Penn State running back during the league meetings last month.

    "He can string together moves and get in and out of stuff," Gettleman told reporters. "He's unique; no doubt about it. He's big, he's powerful. He can step on the gas. He's got different levels of speed. He catches the heck out of the ball, and he sees the blitz-pickup stuff. He's unique."

    Some might view Gettleman's words as telegraphing the Giants' potential first-round pick, but a closer look at the offense has probably already done that.

    The Giants, who have historically wanted their first-round pick to contribute right away, have committed to sticking with Eli Manning this year and perhaps beyond. They're also looking to eventually secure the long-term services of receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and have Evan Engram, a big receiving target at tight end whose versatility was on display last year.

    What the Giants don't have—and what can help take some of the onus off Manning—is a running game that scares anyone. 

    The addition of Barkley could change all that, giving the Giants offense that longtime missing piece that will turn the one-dimensional pass-happy offense of recent years into a two-way threat that forces opposing defenses to finally start respecting the Big Blue running game.

Round 2 (No. 34 Overall): OL Austin Corbett, 6'4", 306 Pounds, Nevada

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    If the Giants are going to add a stud running back, they might as well add another "hog molly" up front to block for him.

    Austin Corbett is an intriguing candidate whose draft stock has been rising of late. A solid inside option, the college left tackle could potentially fill the starting right guard spot while also serving as a backup center. Corbett also appears to tick off several boxes that the new Giants regime seeks in its players.

    Per NFL.com's Lance Zeirlein, he's smart, a relentless worker and a team leader who built himself up from a walk on to a four-year starter. Like all NFL rookies, Corbett will need to improve his strength, and he will also have to show that he can transition inside to guard. However, he appears to have a lot of upside as both a pass-blocker and in the running game.

Round 3 (No. 66 Overall): DL Tim Settle, 6'3", 329 Pounds, Virginia Tech

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    If the Giants are looking for a hog molly with athleticism for their defensive line, Tim Settle might be worth a look.

    Although he's a big man, Settle has a good blend of quickness and agility that resulted in 36 tackles, (12.5 for a loss), four sacks and one pass defensed in the 2017 season.    

    Per NFL.com's Lance Zierlein, Settle, who can would be a fit for either the 3-4 or 4-3, took a significant step forward in his career after dropping some weight and improving his conditioning, which allowed him to play faster.

    Zierlein also wrote that Settle is disruptive enough and "offers enough pass-rush potential to warrant reps on passing downs."

    That potential, if Settle should land with the Giants, might just be the kick-start the Giants defense, which last year tied for 29th overall in sacks with 27, needs to start making life miserable for opposing quarterbacks.

Round 3 (No. 69 Overall): LB Fred Warner, 6'3", 236 Pounds, BYU

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    BYU's Fred Warner is a guy who appears to offer versatility as both a thumper and a coverage guy. 

    Per Zierlein, Warner moves around like a big safety, a position where the Giants could find a use for in the sub-packages as they did back in 2011 when Deon Grant served as that hybrid linebacker/safety role. 

    Although he was an outside linebacker for the Cougars, Warner’s instincts and cover skills have resulted in seven career interceptions and 13 passes defensed over four seasons.

    A three-year starter over his career who earned playing time as a true freshman, Warner, a team captain for the Cougars, also finished his college career with 262 total tackles (32.5 for a loss) and 6.5 sacks.

Round 4 (No. 108 Overall): CB Parry Nickerson, 5'10", 182 Pounds, Tulane

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    If the Giants are looking for a potential long-term solution at slot cornerback, Tulane's Parry Nickerson might be worth a look.

    Nickerson, who redshirted his freshman year after playing in just one game, recorded 16 interceptions (one for a touchdown) and 31 passes defensed in college. He added 188 total tackles (eight for a loss).

    Zierlein has praised Nickerson for possessing "some of the more impressive ball skills in this year's draft," even though he views Nickerson as being somewhat undersized.

    The knocks against Nickerson are his tackling skills and his "grabbiness" that won't fly with NFL officials, but he has a lot of upside as a potential nickel and dime corner.

Round 5 (No. 139 Overall): WR Jaleel Scott, 6'5", 218 Pounds, New Mexico State

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Giants moved on from Brandon Marshall, who was supposed to be their tall receiving threat.

    While this likely means more opportunities for tight end Evan Engram, whom some have compared to a big receiver, and of course the usual surplus for Odell Beckham Jr., Scott is a legit 6'5" specimen who is flexible enough to play outside and in the slot.

    Per Zierlein, Scott does a nice job of "using stride length and hand fighting to create space for himself as a downfield threat." If Scott were to continue his development, his size would make him a matchup nightmare for most shorter cornerbacks, especially inside the red zone.

    Scott, a JUCO transfer who also has experience as a punt returner, had his breakout season in 2017, with 76 receptions for 1,076 yards and nine touchdowns. He finished with 99 catches for 1,362 yards and 14 touchdowns in his two years at New Mexico State.

                                       

    Patricia Traina covers the New York Giants for Inside Football, The Athletic and Sports Xchange. All quotes and information were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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